Banger track alert! Ryan Oakes x Loveless pack a serious punch with their newest release, “Heavyweight”. This track brings the fire and power we’ve been waiting for, perfect for putting on at the gym or while you’re just channeling your inner badass. When I listen to this track, I’m reminded of similar sounds coming from MGK, Fall Out Boy’s “Save Rock And Roll”, or perhaps in overlaying the fight scenes of “Arcane”.
There are a few very cool stylistic things I like a lot about “Heavyweight”, and most have to do with just the sheer amount of amazing vocal ability that’s displayed in this track. You can really see such a large range of abilities here – vocals with and without distortion, seamless transitioning between genres and beautiful integration of very different genres, and of course, an ability to absolutely spit bars! Upon my first listen I automatically labeled this song as something more akin to the kind of run-of-the-mill, formulaic Top 40 track that you might hear on the radio, but I’m so happy to say that I was very wrong about that as a listened more. This song offers something totally new and exciting to hip-hop, rap, and alt fans alike and deserves a spot on your rotation.
Not only does this track smoothly switch between spoken word and the distorted, powerful vocals in the chorus, but also includes cleaner vocals at the end of the song to kind of tie it all together. I love what this consistent change in sound does for me as a listener, because I’m forced to stop and be like “whoa – this is different”. These guys know that variety in the spice of life in tracks like this, and I think any time a song can stay within the flow of the song, yet integrate multiple kinds of change to the ear is something special. The lyrics here, although not all relatable to me (I know absolutely nothing about crypto….or about having a lot of money), definitely followed along with the overall goal of getting the listener pumped and excited for what comes next in the track. What was notable for me here was the spoken-word parts of the track, because it followed a rhythm that I’ve never heard before. I think the kind of syncopation that is used at the end of the phrase is genius. Not only is it different from the kinds of rap I’ve heard before, it also builds up the energy that is needed for the energy-charged chorus.
Along with Ryan’s amazingly written and fired up rap verses, Loveless brings it with this track and with the energy of their fierce vocals in the chorus. They did a great job of mixing pure tone vocals with more soul-filled areas and distortion, perfectly mirroring and complimenting Ryan’s energy. What I thought was super cool about these parts is that even though there are parts with more intensity, Ryan’s vocals nor the instrumentals are taken away from and are instead balanced. Each vocal part seems like another instrument here – nothing stands out in a way that doesn’t seem intentional. Loveless adds to the experience and creates more intensity as the song picks up and to introduce the track. Neither artist is overpowered and seems to share the space evenly, which is also something I don’t see as often. I’m absolutely blown away by the energy of these two sets of vocals together, and I think anyone who hears this track will get them into a headspace of getting ready for a fight.
My personal background is as a vocalist, so that is where my lens is more concentrated, but it would be a crime to not mention the other aspects of this song that I love. More than anything, I appreciate the use of musical space here. The instruments never dare of overpowering either sets of vocals and matches the energy of both Loveless and Ryan. Everything in this song is so perfectly balanced – from the mixing itself to the general feeling of movement in this track.
It’s obvious that “Heavyweight” was written with a lot of experience, passion, and a vision. This track got me MOVING and more and more hyped up as I listened, just like I was about to enter the ring for myself.